Late in the Detroit Lions’ 20-6 win over the Atlanta Falcons, rookie safety Brian Branch delivered a whale of a hit on fellow rookie Bijan Robinson. It was a crushing hit that sent the Falcons’ RB’s helmet flying and drew a cacophony of oohs and aahs from the Ford Field crowd.
Branch was penalized for the hit, though further review showed it might have been a clean blow. In the heat of the moment, No. 32 wasn’t concerned about getting flagged. In the midst of a monster game where he notched a team-high 11 tackles, recorded three TFLs and broke up two passes, Branch was looking to make another impact play.
After the game, Branch was asked about the big hit. He described the play via Nolan Bianchi of the Detroit News,
“I had nobody coming until Bijan came out into my zone and — just licking my chops. He didn’t see me coming and the quarterback still threw it,” Branch said excitedly.
He was asked about his reaction to seeing the penalty flag.
“F*** it,” Branch laughed. He added he wanted to “show him that I’m not scared to tackle him, and I’ll take the flag.”
Brian Branch go boom. pic.twitter.com/r4Egb0vW44
— Jeremy Reisman (@DetroitOnLion) September 24, 2023